Asexual model Yasmin Benoit on asexuality stereotypes

Model and asexuality activist Yasmin Benoit (PinkNews)

“You barely see asexual people as it is, let alone a black asexual person.”

Yasmin Benoit is a model, activist and an aromantic asexual smashing tired stereotypes about asexuality.

She spoke to PinkNews about whitewashing of asexuality, what people say to her when coming out, and why the A in LGBTQIA does not stand for ally.

How do you know if you’re asexual?

“There was never really a time where I didn’t think I was asexual,” Yasmin explained.

“I noticed when I was about eight and I was in primary school like everyone’s hormones seemed to kick in and all of a sudden the boys and girls fancied each other and I was like, alright, what’s this?

“The default is straight so when people would ask me I’d be like well I guess I’m straight but I don’t like boys. And they were like: ‘Well then you’re probably not straight.’

“They said: ‘Well do you like girls?’ and I was like no, I don’t really like anybody. And they were like: ‘Well maybe you’re asexual or something?’

“So I Googled that and I was like yeah, sounds about right. So when I was about 14, I just started using that word.

How do people react when you come out as asexual?

Yasmin often hears ignorant comments about asexuality by people falsely assuming she ‘hasn’t found the right person.’

“I find that most of the time, in my personal life, people just kind of re-interpret it their own way,” she told PinkNews.

“So I’ll say: ‘Hey, I’m asexual’ and they’ll be like: ‘Oh ok, so you’re well behaved.’

Asexuality activist Yasmin Benoit

“Asexuality has nothing to do with being introverted” says activist and model Yasmin Benoit (PinkNews)

“It has nothing to do with being a prude, it has nothing to do with being insecure, and antisocial, and introverted.

“It has nothing to do with how you look—that’s something I get a lot—people are like: ‘Oh but you’re good looking, you don’t need to be asexual,’ which tells me that people think that there is an asexual look and that it isn’t a good one, and two that asexuality is a choice that people take when they can’t get dates or that they can’t get laid.”

What do you love about being asexual?

“One of the benefits of being asexual is definitely that you don’t have to worry about–if you’re aromantic—you really don’t worry about relationship stuff,” she said.

“I know some asexual people do worry about that but I don’t have that problem.”

Is it hard to be asexual?

“I think that representation is definitely very important because I think the LGBTQIA+ community in general is pretty whitewashed in its representation,” Yasmin explained.

“That is not only ironic for the community that’s supposed to be so inclusive and diverse if it doesn’t look like that, it’s also counterproductive for minorities that are part of it because it’s kind of seen as being a white thing, which definitely doesn’t help when you are trying to come out and people don’t take it seriously in your community because it’s seen as being this ‘white kid’ thing.

“Even in the LGBTQIA community, I find that people tend to cut out the A or think that the A stands for allies.

Yasmin Benoit is an asexual activist and model

“There was never really a time where I didn’t think I was asexual” (PinkNews)

“I notice a lot of the time in organisations or in the media, people only care about the LGBT part and even though they put the plus, they don’t actually acknowledge the plus.

“But last time I checked the community is about, you know, people that aren’t heteronormative and they don’t fit that and it’s supposed to be inclusive of that.”